What is the Mini Pill?

Combined Contraceptive Pill »

There is also another form of the pill on the market at the moment called the mini pill. It is a form of contraception and sounds very much like the combined contraceptive pill so how is it different?

The mini pill does confuse some people, as it is actually a different product to the combined pill. Firstly, it only has one hormone in it as it only contains progesterone. This difference is very important, as it is the lack of oestrogen that makes the mini pill less effective. The mini pill will protect you from pregnancy as it thickens the mucous lining and thins the uterus lining but it is less effective as it does not always stop you from producing an egg.

As oestrogen is the main cause of most of the side effects of the combined pill, the mini pill has less side effects. This is appealing to many women although the mini pill is nowhere near as popular as the combined pill. It is usually given to women who are having too many adverse side effects with the combined pill. If the combined pill has increased your blood pressure, then you will usually be given the mini pill instead. Also, if you have a history of blood clots, smoke or are over the age of 35, you may be advised to try the mini pill instead of the combined as your condition will not be aggravated as there is no oestrogen present.

The mini pill is good at alleviating the side effects that the combined pill can cause and is a popular choice for women that cannot use the combined pill. However, it has two big disadvantages. It is not as effective as the combined pill as it only uses two mechanisms to prevent pregnancy as it is not always successful at preventing your body from releasing an egg. It also doesn’t regulate your periods as you don’t have a break for a withdrawal bleed but continue to take the pill every single day. Therefore, you cannot tell when your period is going to be, a big advantage of the combined contraceptive pill.

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